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Connecticut’s Clean-Energy Programs Receive Praise from National Coalition

A report from the Clean Energy States Alliance cites the Connecticut Green Bank and its Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program that provides up-front financing to remove barriers to clean energy investment.

by Hugh Bailey, Connecticut Post / June 23, 2015
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(TNS) -- A new report has high praise for Connecticut’s clean-energy programs, citing more than 90 projects and seven megawatts of clean energy in the pipeline, with 110 cities and towns signed up to participate.

The Clean Energy States Alliance, a national, nonprofit coalition of state agencies and other public organizations, released a report that provides a glance at the ways in which states are supporting clean energy. It cites the Connecticut Green Bank and its Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE, program that provides up-front financing to remove barriers to clean energy investment.

The program allows commercial property owners in participating communities to access financing that covers 100 percent of the up-front cost of clean energy improvements. The building owners repay the financing through a benefit assessment on their property tax bill using the money saved by the upgrades.

The report cites the value of state involvement, in part given the difficulty of passing federal clean-energy programs. “Because the federal government has not dictated a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach, the states have innovated and experimented with their own clean energy policies and programs,” the report reads. “This diversity has served the needs of the states and it bodes well for continued clean energy expansion in the future.”

While noting that clean energy represents only a small portion of the nation’s power supply, the report says the numbers are outpacing projections from the turn of the century.

“This report clearly outlines how renewable energy production has far surpassed expectations and created a thriving clean-energy sector,” Warren Leon, executive director of CESA, said in a news release. “We must sustain this momentum by supporting various initiatives at the state level, working in tandem with federal agencies and advancing clean energy with continued bipartisan support.”

Connecticut is also praised for promoting and helping to fund microgrids, which cover an area as small as a single building or as big as a neighborhood. “The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has funded 11 resilient power microgrids over the first two rounds of a three-year program that aims to create islands of resilient power across the state,” the report reads.

The state’s support of the fuel-cell industry also earns high marks.

CESA works with state leaders, federal agencies, industry representatives and other stakeholders to develop and promote clean energy technologies and markets.

©2015 the Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, Conn.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.